SUNDAY Memphis (continued)
We get to Memphis. And we already know that it’s PARTY TIME because we change CD and this CD has 2pac -Changes & Sean Paul – Get Busy on it. ( a song that basically captures my life when I was 15 and when i had a crush on my Jamaican Biology teacher at the time so i listened to a lot of dancehall music) So you know it’s ON.
[THE NEXT PART OF THE STORY HERE WILL BE A SEPARATE POST WHEN WE ALL RETURN HOME]
We check into an Econolodge – for mega cheap bucks. It comes with 2 double beds, which look soooooo good after sleeping in a car onto of each other for over 11 hours. The first thing we do is fight for a SHOWER! oh the simple pleasures that life offers us. Katka asks about beer. She is beside herself at the prospect that not only can she smoke in the hotel, she can swim AND smoke AND drink a beer at the same time. Her vacation is made.
We leave the hotel, feeling so fresh and so clean, clean. Grab a great sausage hot dog from a real Memphis BBQ in the park with a music and craft festival going on just off Beale Street. Katka can’t believe that she can buy 1.5 pints of booze IN the Street for only $5, and take it into another bar, or just drink it on the street. She announces that this is her favourite place ever. We go into a soul bar, and have an amazing time dancing listening to a great jazz-soul live band. I buy an ice-cream and catch a cab home around 12:30 am. Leaving the others to party. They come back around
2pm. Josh literally passes out on the floor, Rado brings full huge glasses of beers and puts them onto of the TV.
Monday – Memphis – New Orleans
We stay in bed until 9. I get up. The others don’t move. I upload photo’s on Facebook – keeping to my job. It’s nearly 11 – check out time and I decide to wake the others up. We ask for a later check-out time. And bounce. We get amazing super awesome cheap italian food for under $7. And everything is great in the world. The others announce that they can’t remember anything from 12:30 onwards and wonder where they got these wrist bands from. They blame not drinking for 3 days on their ability to get smashed on $40 worth of beer between them.
I go to do laundry. It takes us literally 4 attempts at finding coin operate laundrettes. Clearly everyone seems to own their own washer or pays the dry cleaners to do it for them. We end up in the back end of Memphis, at the most ghetto laundoromat that i have ever seen. out of 50 washing machines only 5 of them don’t have a ‘out of order’ sticker on. The place is run by the nicest woman though, who knows all the tricks to get the machines working, including bumming a door shut in a weird way to make the washing machine start. That in itself was worth the trip.
We take this time to clean the car and buy some much needed febreeze to cover the smell we have gained from sleeping and eating in the car. We meet up with the others who went to the Rock and Roll museum, clearly my priorities are not in order.
We drive the 6 hours to NEW ORLEANS. Rado notices that the light at the back of the car isn’t turning off. We tell him to leave it. but it also turns out that Rado has a tiny bit of OCD in him. He constantly changes the air-conditioning by the smallest amounts – ‘to make it just right’. We have to pack the trunk of the car in order of bags. My suitcase always goes first. And he has to park the car in the same place if we drive to the same location.
So Rado ends up breaking the light to the point that it falls out of the roof. It takes him another hour to fix it and put it back to normal. The drive is a breeze. We all chat and learn about people we don’t really know. Our drunkeness and unspoken about event has brought us more closer together. We stop off at a gas station on the way down because of course Rado and Kafka are hungry. This gas station is like the cheapest i’ve ever been to. They go wild at how cheap it is for 3 mini burgers, fries and huge large coke for $4. Shaggy and myself decide not to indulge (plus the burger meat looked a bit like cat food) and wait it out for a big meal in New Orleans. I do however get a 59cent ice cream! 59cents!
We get to New Orleans around 11pm, and Smizz’s amazing price line reservations comes up again. Pelham Hotel looked like the BOMB. It was classy, boutique like, the rooms were beautiful and part of a great looking building and only 2 blocks away from the french quarter. When I check in we go to the room to find wood shavings and paint buckets on the floor. it takes me a while to gage the situation. at first i was like, oh well. there’s wood on the floor and was going to ignore it. But then I spotted the paint buckets and thought better of it (i’m notorious for avoiding anything where i have to complain to someone about something). So i went downstairs, they apologised and gave us an even bigger room. SCORE.
We then dumped our stuff, and of course get straight onto the free wifi like tramps on chips. We then decide at 11:30ish to search for the great food we had talked about for 6 hours down. Steak, shrimp, gumbo. Yeah. But of course New Orleans at night at midnight closes down and is only open for partying. It’s not New York City. So we ended up get $5 bowls of decent but not amazing Jambalaya just on Bourbon Street with fountain cokes. We are living the LIFE. We walk the street after the UK Kebab Shop eating style experience but with Cajan food. Josh buys a touristy t-shirt about drinking. The Slovakians buy more pencils (their souvenir of choice for every place we visit). and we head back to the hotel for an early-ish (1.30am) night.
In the morning – we have NO IDEA what time it is as our room has no windows. It’s pitch black and drunken Rado had unplugged everything the night before, except setting the alarm which he had set to go off – mega loud. So an alarm goes off. No one except Rado knows where the alarm is ( orin fact that we had an alarm!). He stands on Shag who was sleeping on the floor, and turns it off. We all go back to sleep for 15 minutes. When the alarm goes off again! Ok, so we go back to sleep only to get House-keeping knocking at door almost another 15 minutes later. We tell her to go away! and then we go back to sleep only to get the room phone ringing? We’re like., daymn. New Orleans wants us TO GET THE FUCK UP!
After the phone rings again, we decide it’s time to start the day! Josh and Shag go to the War Museum, whilst Rado, Katka and myself decide to dedicate our day to Touristing it up!
I take many photo’s trying to capture the beautiful architecture. Rado complains that he’s hungry. I have to convince him not to eat at Subway. We end up at an Oyster Bar, where people are wearing bow ties and get seated on a balcony that overlooks the street. I get the best GUMBO EVER. TICK. We have a really great time. We then go on the search for pencils for Rado’s collection. We buy Galato ice-creams, walk along Missippi river, Farmers Market, Go on the Paddle boat, more shops, Go to the Louie Armstrong Park and get drinks. At this point I’m pooped and head back to Hotel to sleep off my tiredness for the night.
6 pm comes around sharp. We get ready, get great burgers & Jambalya for the nights antics ahead! We go to a bar playing country music first. i have no idea who decided that. But perhaps it was the fact that there was a mechanical bull inside which sealed the deal! The crew can’t believe that it only costs $6.50 for 3 beers! Kafka LOVES it. I buy a Hurricane, as i need to tick it off my bucket list. I pay $10 for the biggest strongest cocktail, ever. The drinks keep coming, I keep on drinking the hurricane, a crazy woman with shots comes around. She has rado, he asks how much, she says it’s THREE. He thinks she says it’s FREE. So he does a bunch of shots where she holds test tubes of alcohol in her mouth and pores it into your mouth. He think’s this is super amazing and demands Katka to have some shots from the woman. He then demands Shag to do it, when Shag announces that he’s not paying. Rado is like “Oh no Josh! They are FREE!” We go, no Rado – they’re $3 dollars EACH. He is beside himself. We laugh at his miss fortune. The woman waits around to get paid. She comes back around after we’ve had a few more drinks – i of course am still on the big HURRICANE of a drink! She tells Shag he must do it because it would make a great photo. I agree. So he does it, he then demands that I do it. It’s one of the most awkward moments of my summer. I’m really not sexy in any-way at all when it comes to stuff like that. I’m like a repressed Brit, you know? I realise that i possibly could have a cavity on my back lower tooth when we do the shot. I paid the woman to find out whether I have cavities or not, thankfully I only seem to have a potential 1. Next up is Josh who manages to get them from the breasts of the woman instead of her mouth. Shag is totally jealous. faux pas player. The shot woman asks to see the photos, she admires that they’re in black and white and says it looks ‘classy’, which isn’t exactly what i would describe them as. She gives me her Facebook and asks me to tagg her in them?! She obviously love black and white photographs.
After many beers, $3 body shots and a visit to the dodgy bathrooms later, we bounce and end up dancing on the street. Some how I end up with a drink called ‘Jester’ and I tell Josh he needs to buy a ‘Hand grenade” cocktail. He comes back with some green cherries. I tell him that it’s not a Hand Grenade, we all try them and they’re officially DISGUSTING. We manage to eat them between us. He goes off to try and get the real deal, but comes back with more Cherries. We can’t give them away, and it seems wasteful to waste them so we eat more digesting vodka drenched green cherries. (Yeah, illuminous green).
We end up in a rock bar, Shag is so drunk he dances. The Slovakians pick up another Slovakian. We dance to Journey, and other cliched songs. We shot-gun beers in the street, Josh buys more pizza, Shag runs off to bed, The Slovakians go into a service station style deli for fried chicken. Katka says it’s the best chicken she’s ever had. We stumble back to the hotel. Shag has already passed out. Katka plays Brenda Lee’s christmas album, so Josh tries to cancel it out by playing Notorious BIG. It’s a surreal moment. Katka accepts defeat and Josh tries to call his mom via Skype, drunk. I shower, because I’m a responsible tipsy drunk and all 3 of us try sleeping in the same bed. Katka leaves White Flag by Dido on repeat on a low level on her tablet. We wake up in the morning to Dido, White Flag – still playing.
We pick up the car from the valet (because we’re just that classy with out black and white shot photos). And start the journey onwards to Austin TX. We have a long 9 hour drive across LA and Texas.